Magic Mike’s Last Dance

Magic Mike’s Last Dance

2023, R, 112 min. Directed by Steven Soderbergh. Starring Channing Tatum, Salma Hayek Pinault, Nancy Carroll, Ayub Khan Din, Jemelia George, Caitlin Gerard.

REVIEWED By Sarah Jane, Fri., Feb. 17, 2023

Look, I’m not a fan of male stripping. It’s all very silly to me. If that’s the way you make your green, more power to you. I'm just not into it. Having said that, I have enjoyed watching both previous Magic Mike films for reasons, and am interested in Magic Mike's Last Dance, the supposed capper to the Magic Mike trilogy.

It’s been a rough few years for Mike Lane (Tatum). Having lost his furniture business due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he's tending bar at a lavish party in Miami for Maxandra Mendoza (Hayek Pinault), the soon-to-be ex-wife of a media mogul. She’s bored and lonely, so when a friend tells Max she needs to get some of that goodness Mike has to offer, she hits him up as the party winds down. He declines … at first.

And then, woo wee, all bets are off.

That scene (I’m convinced just calling it “that scene” is enough) between Max and Mike, holy shit, is one of the hottest things I’ve seen in movies in a long time (and that includes the previous Magic Mike movies containing some hotass shit). Seriously, Tatum and Hayek Pinault generate some true fire. Tatum was a dancer back in the day and he’s still got the moves, and he’s charming as hell, but still gets short shrift as an actor, and is more than able to hold his own. But while this is called Magic Mike’s Last Dance, it's Hayek Pinault’s movie as much as it is Tatum’s. While Mike is just trying to make some fast cash to pay off the other lad’s investments in his furniture business, Max is working through her own shit: estranged from her controlling husband, with a teen daughter, Zadie (George), who feels abandoned by both parents. Max throws herself into this venture with Mike without thinking it through. She’s trying to figure it out as she goes, to the detriment of everyone around her.

Having sat out the first sequel, returning Magic Mike director Steven Soderbergh has made an entertaining enough movie, but it’s the weakest of the series. It’s like hardly any thought went into whether the story actually worked, as if scriptwriter Reid Carolin wrote prompts like “hot as fuck,” “London,” “West End,” and “Pony” on some cards and then tied them all together with the tiniest string.

But guess what? None of that matters because Tatum can dance his ass off and he does not disappoint here. Yes, the story is silly, but the film is entertaining. It's still not enough to make me want to hit up a male strip club or anything, but I would absolutely not say no if Tatum came to my house and wanted to dance for me. Just sayin’.

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Magic Mike’s Last Dance, Steven Soderbergh, Channing Tatum, Salma Hayek Pinault, Nancy Carroll, Ayub Khan Din, Jemelia George, Caitlin Gerard

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